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Am I Still a Junior?

I have always been a junior. My father just remarried and changed his surname to hyphenate it with the name of his new wife. I'm curious: does this at all affect my being a Junior?
- Junior without a Senior

Juniors, 3rds and beyond are all about tradition. That makes them the most rule-bound corner of the baby name world, a place where a George W. Bush is decidedly not "George H. W. Bush Jr." 

Most of the namesake rules are throwbacks to an old patriarchal social order. So not surprisingly, these old rules have little to say about your very modern family naming dilemma. The good news is that even in the hidebound world of namesakes, "rules" are trumped by the dictates of caring and common sense. 

If you feel that the Jr. in your name is an integral part of your identity, it's yours to keep. You're still your father's namesake, and the name you bear still represents all of the love and pride of a father-son connection. It may feel strange to you that your "Jr." no longer has a corresponding "Sr.," but that doesn't change your birth certificate, and it shouldn't change the essence of your name.

If, on the other hand, you've never liked dealing with the Jr. suffix, this is a natural opportunity to drop it. Approach your dad about it first, making it perfectly clear that this is just a suffix issue. You don't want anyone to take your Jr. adjustment as a sign that you resent his remarriage and renaming -- even if you do. Names are too important and too lasting to choose in anger.

Comments

November 19, 2013 8:59 AM
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It is wonderful that your father hyphenated his name to show equality with his new wife. If you do the same if/when you marry, that will completely solve the junior issue.

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I guess it depends on the situations. When Dale Earnhardt passed away in 2001, Dale Earnhardt Jr. still went by Dale Jr. Which he uses to this day. I guess for distinction.

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